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These global risks affect every business

Resilience is this year’s buzzword; almost all businesses worldwide face five major risks.

So, what are they and why do you need to know about them as an Australian business to build this resilience?

Cyber security

Cyber security incidents cost Australian businesses $29 billion annually, a Microsoft report has found. The Australian Cyber Security Centre responds to about six cyber security incidents a day. That doesn’t include incident reports to the police and other organisations.

It ranges from financial or business loss, costs to restore your affected systems as well as an investment loss. That’s the downtime you need to factor in to notify the right authorities and give them instructions about what’s happened. More than 90% of Australian breaches lasted longer than a day, yet only 43% of businesses surveyed said their security programs “actively protected” them, an Accenture report found.

Businesses can protect themselves by minimising administrative privileges as well as disaster recovery planning. You might be concerned to hear that just a third of Australian businesses offer cybersecurity training for staff. Such future skills investment could have a big return on investment.

We can advise you on keeping your business cyber safe and reducing your risk profile such as with cyber insurance.

Climate change and natural disasters

Eight out of 10 Australian business leaders said they believed climate change would negatively impact upon their businesses, Deloitte found. This compares with a global average of just 48%.

So, what can businesses do to reduce their risks? Factor climate change into your strategic decision-making, plus review your inputs and processes for how they can be more environmentally sustainable. Consider letting your customers and clients know what you’re doing through brand messaging. You’re letting them know you take these risks seriously and have a green bottom line.

As well, the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience has set up a knowledge hub. This includes free resources to help business, industry and the general public improve the resilience of their local communities before, during and after natural hazards. The resources and the Australian Disaster Resilience Index draw on six years of research.

As your insurance broker/adviser can also help you keep you updated on options to manage climate change risks which are giving rise to more frequent & severe weather & catastrophe events.

Regulation and policy change

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimates red tape costs the average business $58,000 and business owners spent a further 14 hours each week to employ specialists to deal with it. In 2016, a parliamentary committee was set up to limit red tape. You can dive into the government’s response to the committee’s final report here.

There’s an upside to a policy change, too. Thanks to COVID-19, the Federal Government is offering temporary relief for financially distressed businesses. It means they’re protected so can trade with a government provided safety net. Creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company when it owes $20,000, rather than $2,000. For more details, see this fact sheet, and check for updates as policy on this has a habit of changing.

It’s our business as your broker/ adviser to follow changes to regulation and policies that affect you. We can guide you and show how your insurance cover may need to be tweaked accordingly.

Geo-political uncertainty

While Australia seems relatively stable geo-politically, your suppliers (and their suppliers) or customers may be beyond our shores. Think of the uncertainty due to Brexit, the US presidential election, Lebanon’s implosion, the decline of the Turkish lira, trade wars and the impact of the novel coronavirus.

Doing business can get complex, ambiguous and volatile. If you’re relying on offshore workers to run your back-end administration and social media functions, what happens if unrest in their home country leads to an extended power outage so they can’t go online?

Awareness is your best risk-mitigation strategy. Build your knowledge about networks in the locality, region and country for insights into the context and challenges. Prepare to tweak or pivot your business approach – change may deliver new opportunities to savvy businesses. Keep us in the loop because business pivots could trigger insurance policy changes, too. Political risk insurance might be a good fit.

Business interruption

The pandemic has brought to the fore business interruption and business continuity planning strategies. But other risks may also cause business interruption such as employee error, fire, flooding, loss of electricity or running water, crime, vandalism, or natural disasters.

As your broker/adviser, we can help you plan before a disaster. It can be tricky to estimate how long it will take to restore to full operations because multiple steps, including third parties, could be involved.

Insurance cover for business interruption helps manage your risk of losing income when your business experiences a prolonged closure following a disaster. You may be covered even if you’re not directly responsible for the loss or injury. You can buy this cover as part of a commercial package rather than a standalone policy.

Building business resilience goes hand in hand with reducing your risk profile by having the right insurance cover. We’re here to help you navigate the business environment, whether it’s volatile or coasting or anything in between.

Article supplied by OneAffiniti

Photo by NASA on Unsplash